States Will Go Bankruptcy, Governor Summons quick meeting with the President over minimum wage
An emergency meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) in Wednesday night in Abuja resolved to send another delegation to President Muhammadau Buhari to canvass the Governors’ position on the new Minimum Wage.
The governors insisted that even though they are willing to pay any amount, tasking all states to pay N30,000 being agitated for by organized labor will render many states bankrupt.
According to the forum, the only way the states can pay N30,000 is to either downsize their workforce or the Federal Government agrees to a new revenue allocation formula.
The governors had earlier proposed the sum of N22,500 as what the states could pay but said they were surprised to learn that the Tripartite Committee did not consider the proposal on the ground that it came too late.
Wednesday’s meeting presided over by its chairman, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, resolved to “re-strategize and put together another committee to meet with the president to once again work out another formula towards quickly resolving the problem associated with the proposed N30,000 minimum wage which is impracticable unless labor agrees to a downsizing of the work force all over the country or the federal government itself accedes to the review of the national revenue allocation formula.”
The committee raised by the forum is made up of the governor of Lagos, Kebbi, Plateau, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Enugu and Kaduna.
President Buhari received the report of the Tripartite Committee last week Tuesday but failed to endorse the proposal made by the committee even though he promised to send an executive bill to the National Assembly on the new minimum wage.
Answering questions from reporters after the meeting, Yari explained: “We have seen what has been presented to the president by the committee. “As a member of the committee governors (representative) said the committee did not take our submission of N22,500 because it came late.
“I am surprised how you can do this without the input of the state, because the states are the key stakeholders in this business.
“A situation whereby our report is not taken or considered by the tripartite committee to present to the president then, I dont know how the committee want us to work.
“But we still say we want to pay but the issue is the ability to pay. If we say no, it is not about the ability to pay, just pay. I don’t know how this formula will come and I don’t know how we can get solution to the issue.
“N18,000 today, when the president assumed office 27 states were not able to pay, not that they choose not to pay.
“So now you say 30,000. How many of them can pay? We will be bankrupt.
“So, as Nigerians, we should look at the issues seriously. While other people are saying that governors are riding jets and living in affluence, that one is not luxury but compulsory.
“The issue of government overhead cost and then put it together with personnel cost cannot solve this problem.
“Like Lagos that is paying about N7 billion as salaries, if you say it should pay 30,000, now it will be 13 billion.
“From our calculation, it is only Lagos state that will be able to pay 30000. As Nigerians, this is our country, there is no other country we have and we should be fair to this country.
“As for the way forward, we will continue to talk with Labor, let them see reasons why governors have difficulties.
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